OK, let me start off by saying that it is now widely accepted by pretty much all mobile and iPhone experts that June will be the month in which the new iPhone will be announced. Apple's recent release of its new firmware just emphasized that point. Deep buried in the new firmware, some developers, who clearly have too much time on their hands, discovered references to a mysterious iPhone 2.1 and 3.0, as well as iPod Touch 2.2 and 3.1. Just to make a little bit of sense out of all these numbers, the current iPhone 3G is referred to by Apple as iPhone 1.2 and the current iPod Touch as 2.1. In addition, the new firmware is supposed to be widely available to consumers in June. Now that we have established that June is the month, is this mysterious iPhone 3.0 worth waiting for and eventually purchasing? I believe it is, and here are 5 reasons to support my belief:
- Cut, Copy, and Paste: OK, so it is not as simple as that. I would generally not buy a mobile phone because I can copy text with it. The reason this is number 1 is because it comes in addition to another fact that magnifies this functionality. The iPhone is by far the most advanced mobile device on the planet when considering all the characteristics that are iPhone. What I mean to say is that there are many phones out there that have better cameras, more functions, and even more users. However, the iPhone is the only phone that offers the entire package. The iPhone's user interface, along with Apple's unprecedented app store and its distribution, combined with the iPhone's good looks and advanced OS, make the iPhone the most advanced mobile device on the planet. Now that one of the big complaints regarding the previous iPhone has been solved, there is nothing stopping me from buying one myself.
- Push Notifications: This new feature announced by Apple this week has got to be the most exciting addition to the iPhone, in my humble opinion. Why is this so exciting to me? I think one of the main reasons I did not buy the iPhone 3G is that I figured "What is the point of having all these apps if I cannot access more than one of them simultaneously"? I did not understand why something that a very basic Symbian or Windows Mobile device can do, the iPhone cannot. Now, it is all clear. Apple explained this week in their keynote that when running a background app, phones lose 80% of their battery life. That was a compromise Apple was not willing to make. Somehow Apple, in a way only Apple can do, came up with a solution to this issue. They have engineered a new Push technology that enables you to get notifications when a new IM arrives for example, without having the app run in the background and use battery. Now the iPhone can operate like a true computer giving consumers the ability to do a few things at once.
- Spotlight: Anyone that has a new Mac has no doubtingly come across Apple's new highly advanced search tool, called Spotlight. Basically, at the click of a customizable button, you are presented with a search field in which you type whatever it is you are looking for on the Mac, whether a program, a picture, a song, a video, a document...anything! It is a simple-to-use, highly effective, and esthetically pleasing tool that only Apple is capable of designing. Well, now it's coming to the iPhone. No need to go browsing in between home screens in search of an app, no need to go browse your music by artist or album, it is all now at your fingertips, on a newly designed home screen to the left of your primary home screen. Pure genius and so Apple-like.
- Landscape Keyboard: This is the same as copy and paste. It is not a big deal in and of itself, but combined with the other highly advanced features of the current iPhone, it adds a lot. Why is this a big deal? If you use IM/VOIP apps like Nimbuzz, you know how big of a difference typing on a landscape keyboard really makes. It is significantly easier and enables you to type with much higher precision. It is a great and useful addition to the iPhone, I just think there are many iPhone developers out there who are not very happy about it, seeing how they are making money right now by selling an app that's entire offering is a landscape keyboard.
- Peer to Peer connectivity: This is actually a very cool feature I am sure I will use often. If you live or hang out in a place like the Israeli High Tech scene, where every other person owns an iPhone, you will love this new functionality. You can now connect to other iPhone users over Bluetooth or Wifi and play interactive games or transfer files. I have to say this is the same as the previous feature, in that it would not such a huge deal, if we were not talking about it as part of the iPhone experience. I know Bluetooth on other phones already supports file transfer, but being as I am not a big gamer, I am not sure about the new interactive gaming option, although I am pretty sure it does not exist.
Other exciting features that did not make the top 5 include MMS capabilities and stereo Bluetooth, both features very much missing from the current iPhone, along with many others. To sum up, I think it is safe to say that none of the features wowed me, yet somehow everyone was tweeting about it the day of Apple's announcement. That says a lot. The reason this is, is because I have tried all the best phones out there including the E71 or the Bold, and there really is no comparison. The iPhone experience really stands alone and for this reason, with the addition of over a hundreds new features, and the highly anticipated new hardware of iPhone 3.0, I will be purchasing myself two shiny new iPhones come June. Did you really think I was going to get away with buying myself one and not treating the wife? Please let me know what you think of Apple's new features or the upcoming iPhone 3.o in the comments. Will you be buying one?